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Belarus has fully paid debt to Gazprom

Belarus has paid in full the amount it owed to Russia's energy giant Gazprom. Gazprom threatened to cut gas supplies to Belarus by 45 % if the country failed to pay its bill for the first half of 2007.

Minsk paid some of the half-a-billion-dollar debt last Friday and Gazrpom set a new deadline for this Thursday for the rest of the money.

Belarus says payments will no longer be delayed.

The announcement has eased fears that the latest gas dispute between Russia and Belarus could lead to supply interruptions for Europe.